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Rick LoBello [00:00:00] For years, the wolf here at the El Paso Zoo was mainly a ambassador species for conservation. In other words, we were keeping mainly wolves that were no longer needed for the breeding programs. So, we would just have older wolves that came from other zoos. And we didn't really have a facility for the wolves here that was big enough for breeding.

Rick LoBello [00:00:25] So, when we opened up the new Chihuahuan Desert exhibit a few years ago, we were able to provide habitat for a wolf pack instead of just a couple of wolves.

Rick LoBello [00:00:38] So now, I'm very happy to say that our zoo is not just exhibiting these animals, but we're actually breeding them and helping to restore them in the wild through a cross-fostering program, which basically involves taking wolves born here at the zoo, and when they're like a less than a week old, flying them over to Arizona and New Mexico and putting those little pups in wild Mexican wolf dens to be raised by wild Mexican wolf mothers.

Rick LoBello [00:01:13] And this is a very successful program, and it has been going on now for about half a dozen years. And for the past two years now, we've been able to contribute wolves to the cross-fostering program. So, we're actually helping to strengthen the gene pool in the wild from wolves born here in El Paso.